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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTOBflT   AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

one's  sense  of*what Froude  calls  "the tragedy of
humanity itself ".   No attempts to summarise an age by
means of formulas and general theses can be anything
but harmful unless we keep in mind that jungle of life
for which they provide the merest abstraction and
diagram.   No selective account,  such as we find in
ecclesiastical history, or when we study the development
of the  idea  of sovereignty—no   schematisation,  no
patterns of process or evolution—can avoid giving rise
to misconceptions, unless we perpetually refer these
things back to the general narrative and sink them into
that broader stream of human life which the literary
historians were so concerned to reproduce.    Perhaps it
would not be entirely wrong to suggest that the scores
of people who in the last one hundred years have con-
tinued the research into the reigns of James II and
William III were co-operating to produce what ideally
would <be another Macaulay's History if the process could
ever complete itself—a Macaulay's History revised and
deepened and transcended.   For this is the fundamental
necessity, the presumed final object of the historical
endeavour, the thing we should really call history at the
last stage in the argument.

in

The emphasis on the conception of history as the
" resurrection " of the past induced the literary historians
to insist upon an enlargement of the actual subject-
matter of historical study. They demanded that the

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